This year has been a very successful one for Carbonear Collegiate Level II student Leslie Norman.
In early April, Norman was named Senior Rose Bowl champion at the local Kiwanis music festival and won an essay contest a few weeks later.
Another big accomplishment has been added to the list.
Norman is one of three students from across the country that will take part in a trip to France in July to the Institut Français for a program called “Génération Bilingue” (generation bilingual).
This is the second year for the program. Last year, three students from Ontario and Alberta made the trip. This year, three from Atlantic Canada — Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia — will attend.
This is the opportunity of a lifetime, Norman told The Compass on June 24 at her home in Carbonear.
Although she is a quiet young woman, she lit up with excitement when she spoke about the trip.
“It’s such a blessing,” she said.
This will be the first time a student from Newfoundland will attend, which Norman is quite pleased it was her who was chosen.
The decision about who would attend was made by the provincial government. Guidelines — although not set in stone — to decide who would participate were outlined in a letter from the Canadian French embassy in Ottawa.
“We suggest that the student you choose from your province be a child that will greatly benefit from the visit. This could be an opportunity to reward an excellent student. You could, for example, offer this opportunity to one of the students who obtained the highest mark in the most recent session of the DELF (French proficiency test).”
Norman will benefit greatly from the program, since she has her eyes set on becoming a French teacher after high school.
Because of her modesty, she said she was not sure why she was chosen, but she is grateful for the opportunity.
And it will be at no expense to her, or her family. Her meals, accommodations, cultural experiences and classes have been covered. Her flight was sponsored by the provincial government.
“I only have to take my luggage,” Norman smiled.
It’s not the trip that she is looking forward to the most, rather the experiences.
Not only will she get to take part in French classes, field trips to museums (including the Louvre), and some sightseeing, she will get to experience the family culture first hand.
For several days on her trip, Norman will stay with a host family and take part in the activities and traditions that come along with it.
“I’m really excited about staying with a family,” she elated.
This will be Norman’s first time overseas. She has previously attended educational programs in Quebec, and visited St. Pierre et Miquelon.
Her father, Pastor Darren Norman, was also excited for her to experience a side of France many cannot.
“She’ll get to experience a culture we wouldn’t get to experience (on a family trip),” he said.
Norman just completed her exams for Level II, and she is excited for her summer vacation to begin so she can begin her adventure in France.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she explained.